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tv   House Session  CSPAN  April 14, 2015 8:00pm-9:01pm EDT

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bookseller. >> the white house reached a compromise with congress today over the iran nuclear program framework. the new iran bill, better but still risky. he outlined the bill. the. to implement sanctions has been cut from 60 days to 30. under the framework, he said the administration would report to congress every 90 days and observe the ultimate congressional approval vote on the bill itself. you can read more at washington post.com. next up, the senate foreign relations committee markup of the iran nuclear framework. it is one hour and 15 minutes.
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[no audio] senator corker: this business meeting will come to order. the only order of business today is s-615 the iranian act of 2015. i want to start by thanking all the members of the committee for the tremendous amount of work
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that they have done over several months to get us to the place that we are. and in any piece of legislation, obviously, there are things that members would like to see different, but i think we have reached a balance here that is very, very appropriate. i want to thank former chairman and former ranking member senator bob menendez for his tremendous efforts on all things iran and certainly this piece of legislation. i can't imagine a member being more constructive and i want to say that for me, today, what may a core -- what may occur is the true reemergence of the foreign relations committee becoming more than just a debating society but a committee that takes up the significant work that we have before us around the world. and i want to say again to our
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former chairman and former ranking member, there is no question that over the last two years, you have helped bring us to this point where instead of debating things, we in fact may well be taking up important legislation that will have a significant impact on the security of the middle east and of our citizens. i want to thank tim kaine for his incredible effort. tim is someone who understands truly the role of the united states senate and issues of significance that has been a stalwart to articulate more clearly than anyone else why it is important for us to take the role that i hope this legislation today will allow us to take. and then to ranking member cardin, i don't know how many times we have talked over the phone over the last several days. i can't thank you enough for
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your temperament, for your tone for your seriousness on a very very important issue and i look forward to working with you on other significant issues but today, to be where we are is a testament to the type of senator you came here to be and i want to thank you for that. let's set the stage. in spite of what may be being said by buildings down the street on the other end of pennsylvania, this legislation is exactly the congressional review that we have been working on from day one. i want to thank everyone here for allowing this legislation to be in the form that it is in today, with 100% of the integrity that we had hoped would be a part of this process
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embodied in this piece of legislation. what this legislation does, i think everyone understands that these iran nuclear negotiations are incredibly important to the citizens we represent. i think everyone would want to see an agreement that ensures arrondissement get a nuclear weapon. -- ensures iran does not get a nuclear weapon. they are passed numerous pieces of legislation that many give credit for bringing iran to the negotiating table. congress prevailed and the sanctions that we have put into place are the sanctions that have brought the iranian economy down certainly a great deal. it certainly cause the inflation and the destabilizing affect
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that cause them to want to be at the negotiating table. what we have before us today is a bill that forces the administration, before they are able to lift the sanctions that we collectively put in place that brought them to the table it forces the administration to bring to us every detail if there happens to be a final agreement. every detail. we have left time frames in here, we work through with a parliamentarian to make sure the procedures are appropriate. then and i will have a colloquy in a minute to further confirm that. it means that these sanctions that have been put into place by this body cannot be lifted without the administration bringing to us every detail of the deal. then the clock will start and there will be a. of time -- there will be a period of time where congress
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will be able to debate and decide whether it want to move ahead with a resolution of approval or a resolution of disapproval. during that time, no congressionally mandated sanctions can be lifted. after that process is over there is a third process it is very important. i think everybody understands what has happened in north korea, where arrangements were made but there was no follow through. a very important aspect of the third like to this agreement is that congress stays involved if an agreement is reached. and if one is not disapproved congress stays involved. every 90 days, the administration has to certify that in every way the regime is compliant. and if there is a violation they have to give that to congress so we have an ability to quickly
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reapply the sanctions. i think this puts congress in its rightful role. people should know, and i think everyone understands the sanctions being negotiated are the nuclear sanctions only. the sanctions relative to ballistic missile testing, they stay in place. the sanctions relative to terrorism, they stay in place. the sanctions relative to human rights, they stay in place. today we are only focused on the nuclear peace. but if over the time the sanctions are lifted because a deal is approved in congress chooses not to disapprove it, i would say to everyone here, this bill gives us more of -- more reporting on terrorism than we have ever had more reporting on ballistic missile testing than we have ever had, more reporting
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on human rights than we have ever had. we will have that entire arsenal of sanctions that we put in place since 2010 to reapply in those areas if we feel that ron is again doing things that is not in our national interests. i want to thank again the ranking member and everybody who has worked with us in this regard. many people may have opening comments, but it has been a true pleasure to work with senator cardin and others, for us to be in the place that we are with the entire integrity of the congressional review process that we started with staying in place. and with that, i will turn it over to our ranking member who worked with us to get it into place and i hope many democrats will be willing to join in. he did so toughly but with a temperament that allowed us to move along in a very productive way.
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senator cardin: senator corker thank you very much. i want to agree with you in the role that senator menendez has played. the congressional review of the iranian reports that we hope will be presented in june. senator menendez enjoys the strong thanks for the incredible leadership he has given in the senate foreign relations committee as its chairman and as ranking member. i am honored to be the ranking member. i did not want to become ranking member under these circumstances and i hope that the menendez's -- senator menendez's issues will be revolved -- result quickly.
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i represent the democratic members, but in a broader sense i think we both represent all the members of the senate in bringing as much unity as we can to foreign policy in this country. i look forward to working for you -- working with you in that regard. it is clear to me that there is a strong common commitment in the congress of the united states and the white house, to make sure that iran never becomes a nuclear weapon state. that is our objective. that is a game changer for the middle east and something we cannot allow to occur. i think we all agree that the preferred course to achieve that objective is through diplomatic means. the negotiations taking place with a strong agreement that would prevent iran from becoming a nuclear state. such an agreement would have to provide ample time for iran to break out to a nuclear weapon so that if they do not comply we can know about those breaches
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and take action. bottom line is there is no disagreement in this committee or in the congress that we cannot trust iran and that the agreement has to be able to ensure that iran does not become a nuclear weapon state. i start by saying thank you to senator corker and thank you to senator menendez and thank you to senator cain -- senator kaine. the bill that we are working on today provided a way that congress could review any agreement reached between our negotiating partners in iran with regards to nuclear weapons. secondly, it provided a means that we could get timely notice in the event that there was a material breach so that congress could take appropriate action.
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those two principles were in the original bill and they are still there today and i agree completely with those purposes and said so well before the hearings. i am pleased we were able to negotiate a package that has broad support and input from many members of this committee and i want to thank members on both sides of the aisle for their input into the matters of this amendment. it reflects, i think, the best thoughts of all the members of the committee. it provides the best framework for congressional review and potential action. mr. chairman, i just want to go over some language that is in the amendment will stop -- the amendment. the sanctions regime put in by congress is primarily responsible to bringing the iranian regime to the table.
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these are critical for the national security and foreign policy for the united states and its allies. this legislation does not require a vote for legislation to commence. approval or disapproval of no actions under an agreement. i want to point that out because people have asked why we are involved here. we have to be involved here because only congress can currently change or modify the sanctions regime which is clearly part of what the president is negotiating in regards to the iran nuclear program. secondly, let me point out that the amendment has the appropriate role for congress in regards to when we get the agreement and how we act on it. it is clear that we will only act if the administration has presented to us an agreement. that is when the clock starts will stop -- clock starts.
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we will go into the timeframe in a moment, that on the assumption that we will get it through on time, there is a 30 day review. . -- 30 day review period. that gives congress ample time to decide on action. we don't know if there will be no action, there will be a resolution on sanctions. all of that is possible. there will be no action prior to receiving the agreement. it is also very clear that the april 2 framework is not part of that type of a review process. the 30 days could be extended if there was action taken that required presidential approval during that. of the presidential review -- during that period of the
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presidential review. no one can anticipate where we will end up on this but it basically is a 30 day review process. i want to thank the chairman because we got into a big debate and we may have an amendment being offered on this. we have eliminated from the original draft certain presidential certifications that were not related to the iranian negotiations. i think that was the right thing to do. this is a complicated enough agreement. we will not be able to solve all the problems with iran. if we can stop iran from becoming a nuclear state, that is the purpose of this agreement. did they have other issues with the international community end us, you bet they do. i ask my colleagues to take a look at the manager's amendment because we have strengthened getting adequate information
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about their terrorist activities in violation of human rights that we have that information and can use that information as we see fit. i believe the manager's amendment stresses this bill -- stretches this bill but does it in the right way without interfering. in fact, i would suggest that this bill strengthens the president's ability to negotiate in regards to the nuclear framework itself. lastly, i think there is an amendment that is offered that makes it clear that the security of israel and the survival of israel is clearly paramount, one of the paramount goals, and i agree with that completely. i think senator rubio -- i think senator rubio and senator boxer for their leadership on that issue. i want to thank senator coons for his help on shortening the. and senator shaheen on how we put this together.
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i think this is a proud moment if we can get this type of legislation. i think it is the right thing not only for congress but for the american people. and mr. chairman, if i might, i just want to make one point on some of the new tax in the manager substitute amendment which is been agreed to between senator corker and myself. the original bill mandated a 60 day. congressional review during which time the president would not be able to provide statutory sanctions relief. in the new text, if the sanction is committed by july 10, there would be a 60 day period. it provides for a further 12 days for the president to consider a veto of the resolution of disapproval and 10
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days for congress to consider overriding a veto. the ten-day. would begin the day of presidential veto. senator corker: that is actually my understanding and i think it is your understanding that the timeclock only begins with the president submits all of the materials including all of the classified annexes that the public will never see but is important for us to see prior to any section relief. senator coons: you are --senator cardin: you are correct. senator corker: entity submits after that. of time, all of our members should know that because of the way congress doesn't function during the day of august, there is a 60 day process that we revert back to.
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that is our understanding and certainly it is spelled that way in the manager's amendment, but i want to make sure that we have an agreement. at this moment, i really think it is important or senator menendez, who has been such a champion, not only on this piece of legislation, but regarding our mutual concerns with iran. i would like to call on him to make some opening comments. senator menendez: thank you mr. chairman. let me thank you for your gracious remarks and i appreciate having worked with you on the legislation and your consultations with me on changes to the legislation which i support. i think this continuation of the bipartisanship that i try to set out when i had the privilege of chairing the committee rises to the high calling of what the united states senate is all about. it particularly opposes
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significant -- particularly shows the significance of the senate foreign relations committee. i want to thank senator cardin the ranking member, it is incredibly hard work in perfecting the legislation that brings us to what i hope will be a broad, strong, bipartisan vote. and i can't become anyone better to take my place during this interim. -- during this interim period. and i want to thank senator kaine. in my view, the way to send a message to iran about our feelings is to pass the corker-menendez act. it underscores congresses critical role in one of the highest priority national security, nuclear nonproliferation challenges of our time. the fact is that the p5+1 and
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iran achieve an agreement by the june deadline, congress must have oversight committee -- oversight ability. this bill establishes a framework for congressional oversight. i differentiate this agreement and others that the ministers has excited -- has cited for exclusive executive action the cause of the mandated sanctions that are law. as the author of the sanctions working with this -- working with others on this committee and beyond, i can tell you that we never envisioned a wholesale waiver of those sanctions without congressional input and action. my goal is one goal, and that is to make sure that iran does not have the infrastructure to develop a nuclear weapon. the best way to achieve that goal is with bipartisan support that strengthens the united states'hand and sets out
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expectations for iranian compliance. let's send a message to iran that sanctions relief is not a given and not a prize to signing on the dotted line. iran must comply with all parts of the agreement. i have many questions about the framework agreement, including but not limited to the divergent understanding of the agreement the difference in what iran can do in research on advanced centrifuges, the timing and pacing of sanctions relief, the ability to bring back sanctions if there are violations, the ability to address the military dimensions of the program, the ability of the iaea's ability to do snap inspections. those are all more the reason for congress to have an oversight role.
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i urge a strong bipartisan vote on the bill. senator corker: any additional opening comments? senator risch: the reason this is so difficult is because we are negotiating toward two different goals. the united states and the world wants to negotiate to a point where the irradiance cannot now and cannot never -- cannot ever have a nuclear weapon. the iranians are negotiating to have a specific, clear path forward to how they can have a nuclear weapon. this has been a cold -- is it a culture that has been around for two and a half millennia. 10-15 years is nothing for them. under the agreement talked about, they patiently can put
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one foot in front of the other and get to where they want to go. unfortunately, that means that people will be sitting in these chairs in the future to deal with that. that is what has made this so difficult. having said all that i think there are steps we can take at this point to at least slow it down and, who knows, maybe the iranian people are can overthrow what they are burdened with in their government and decide to be reasonable actors in the world and get to the point where they abandon their nuclear ambitions. this agreement that we are talking about right now does not get them to the point where they are abandoning their nuclear agreements. they would just destroy all their infrastructure, abandon a completely, and move on. that is not what we're talking about here. having said that, i think there are some good things in here that we will have to get on board with. senator corker: i think the
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comments you are making about the agreement, you are talking about the agreement that is being negotiated between the p5+1 and iran. today's agreement will hope to deal with that and by giving us the ability to weigh in, a way to put us into a better place. senator cardin: i think it is critically important that we underscore that because we will have strong bipartisan support for this agreement. i think is very clear that this vote on the review process is not at all a reflection on how members feel on the underlying negotiations. quite frankly, i will just speak for myself, i want to see the agreements before i comment on the agreements. it is still in the process of being negotiated. i do want to it knowledge the president success in keeping iran at the table during these
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negotiating period's in keeping the sanction regime in place when many of us thought when the first framework was announced that we would not be able to do that. we will reserve judgment on the merits at a different point, but right now i hope we can focus on the framework for our review. senator boxer: i really do appreciate the very hard work that you, mr. chairman, did along with our ranking member. so many others. so many people were involved in this and to me is very, very important. i believe this bill has been changed for they point at which i did not supported to a point at which i can. it is because i believe the former bill would have disrupted
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and upended the ongoing negotiations between iran and the p5+1. i believe this new bill will not do that. i have received assurances all day, this morning i was on the phone with experts saying, do you feel that if we vote for this bill we will upend negotiations? the answer came back as a very straightforward know, this bill will not do that. the reason for that is, there is no longer language in the bill tying extraneous issues to the agreement. we may have an amendment to do that and everyone has a right to their opinion. my own view, that would be a dealbreaker because we know how many problems we face with iran. we would be here all day. we are trying to take care of one of these problems today so i would urge colleagues to refrain from trying to solve every problem with iran.
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there are years worth of problems, years worth of terrorism, and we are still dealing with that and we will still deal with that. there is light which in there that states we will still deal with that, let's not tie it to this legislation. also, i believe that what is highlighted is a section that says we will not be voting on the final deal, if there is one until after it is concluded. i think that is very important and i appreciate senator corker and senator cardin accepting the language that i put recognizing israel's right to exist and security. we all feel that way and i am proud it is in their. i am proud that the language i wrote on expedited procedures should this be a breakout, so that we can immediately go on to
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the floor of the united states senate, no filibuster allowed and add back sanctions or do other things. in its new form, the bill clears a very strong path forward for congress to vote up or down on sanctions that it imposed. i view the bill as a vote on sanctions that we imposed. i want to be clear because you know i always am. if this bill is altered in ways that threaten this once in a lifetime opportunity to deal with the looming crisis, i will use every tool at my disposal to stop that from happening. this is just too important. i want to thank not only the leaders of this committee, and that does include senator menendez but also this administration for its extraordinary effort in putting together a framework addressing iran's nuclear future.
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i look at the framework and it does call for intrusive inspections, not only of their nuclear the celebes but of the supply chain -- nuclear facilities, but of the supply chain. it is not a freeze, it is a rollback. i have positive views about the framework and pray that the progress of continue because as i look at the alternative, to me -- did you plan that? as i look at the alternative to this negotiation, this ongoing negotiation, it is frightening to the american people. they don't want another war. we had a colleague on the other side of the aisle actually called for bombing iran now. and i feel there are more than one that feel this way.
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i feel that by this committee taking control of this process i think it is the best thing we can do. the very last point, i hope people read the letter we got from eight administrations, five republican administrations and three democrat, urging us not to take any action to derail the ongoing negotiations. and i have to tell you, they are smart people. they know what they are talking about. and that is why i was very, very concerned. frankly, if i was the chair, which i am not, i would probably start by holding a hearing and call up all those experts before we went to today's markup. but we are where we are and i feel good that we have moved to a place that doesn't threaten his ongoing negotiations and i think everyone for their effort.
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senator corker: if i could, i want to move to senator rubio. but it is my understanding that no one is discussing waiting to vote on this legislation before it comes out of committee. you are referring to voting on the resolution for approval or disapproval after the administration comes forth with an agreement. senator boxer: there may be some horrible amendments that are offered on the floor which would destroy this very delicate balance that you two have achieved. i wanted to put it out there that i am not going to sit back and say go for it. i will use every tool at my disposal to keep it the way it is because there is no such thing as perfection, but i think the two of you have struck just the right balance and i want to
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protect that on the floor when this comes up. senator corker: senator rubio who has contributed heavily especially on the issues relative to israel. i want to thank you so much for his contribution and constructive efforts. senator rubio: i want to thank you mr. chairman and for senator boxer. i do want to say that i am even more concerned about, not simply destroying the delicate balance that is built, i am concerned about the destruction of israel. i will tell you why. in july of 2014, ayatollah khomeini tweeted " this barbaric regime of israel has no cure but to be annihilated." in november of 2014, the supreme leader's twitter account issued a chart showing nine reasons for
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the elimination of israel. in a 66 years of life, the fake zionist dream -- zionist regime has try to realize its goals through an iron fist while posting about it blatantly. it calls for some sort of referendum where the jews and i participate have to go back to their country. he says," until the day that this regime is eliminated through a referendum, resolute and armed resistance is the cure of this ruinous regime." the only means is a resolute and armed confrontation/." " it is the mission of the islamic republic of iran to erase israel from the map of the region." i think at some point when people say they want to destroy you, you should take them
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seriously. i think there should be an amendment on here with a president has to certify to congress that iran's leaders have to legitimize the existence of israel. it is the intent of congress that the president observed that the agreement does not damage israel's right to exist. this is an issue we will have to talk about on the floor and as we move forward beyond this place today because while we are concerned about the national security of the united states and the applications of a nuclear iran that is also, by the way, moving forward on ballistic missiles. you build melissa -- you build ballistic missile because you want to put a nuclear warhead on it. this program does not only pose a risk to the united states
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ultimately, but it poses an immediate risk to israel. i know that because the supreme leader has said it himself repeatedly. i appreciate your work to include this language. it is better than not having it at all. i also appreciate that we added that sanctions over terrorism human rights abuses, and ballistic missiles will remain in place. senator shaheen: i won't repeat all of the eloquent statements that have been made, but i do want to reiterate what has been said about the leadership from you, senator cardin, senator menendez, and senator kaine relative to getting an agreement on this legislation. i think, as you have said, it is not only important to the future of the foreign relations committee and the very important work that we should be doing but i think it also sends a very important signal to the people of this country that we can work together on big issues to
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address common problems that face the country and we should be doing that as often as possible in the future. i want to congratulate you again for the great work you have done and i intend to support this legislation. senator johnson: i also think the chairman and the people who worked on this agreement. i understand it has been a tough road to haul. i realize your challenge in trying to accomplish this piece of legislation could get bipartisan support and overcome a threat and presidential veto. i understand the challenge but i did offer a number of amendments to provide clarity. if we have reached an agreement and we can take this to the floor of the senate, i will withhold offering is amendments during this markup. but i do want to talk about what
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this piece of legislation is and what it is not. you said it creates a rightful role of congress. it creates a role, no doubt about that, and right now we have no role. i would rather have a role than no role whatsoever. i realize it is the executive, commander-in-chief, who after negotiate this. but this is a role of congressional review potentially congressional oversight, but it is not advice and consent. it is a long way from advice and consent. i think this agreement that president obama is negotiating rights to the level of a treaty. there is no set criteria for what a treaty is. the u.s. state department's own foreign affairs manual lists considerations. one of them is the extent to west -- extent to which the agreement involves the commitments and risks affecting the nation as a whole.
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i think this agreement does. another, whether the agreement can be put into effect without subsequent action from congress. i think that applies. what the president is doing on behalf of america is a treaty and according to the constitution treaties should be subjected to the advice and consent of the senate. that would mean, if we were really engaged in our role of advice and consent, that require 67 senators to approve this deal. that is not what is going to happen here. we will not have 67 senators approving this deal. that is not what this bill is going to do. there are basically three types of international agreements. there is a treaty that requires advice and consent. there are also congressional executive agreements. if you have a congressional executive agreement subject to regular order, it would be
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subject to a filibuster so you would need 60 senators approving the agreement. there potentially could be congressional executive agreements under expedited procedures which were not allow a filibuster. that would require 50 senators as well as a majority in the house. both congressional executive agreements require a majority in the house formally approving the agreement. in other words, allowing the american people to have a say in an agreement that involves commitments or risks affecting the nation as a whole to their elected representatives. what this bill does, it kind of turned the advice and consent on its head, because it basically allows for voter disapproval. -- a vote of disapproval. in order for that vote of disapproval to have an effective stopping a bad deal if it is
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not feed out that would require 60 senators voting for disapproval, which means 41 senators could approve this deal and we would not have that vote of approval. if that vote of disapproval is be towed by the president, we would need to overcome that veto with 67 senators which means 34 senators would be required for approval of this deal. this piece of legislation, which again, i appreciate the fact that at least this gives us a role. it is an incredibly limited role. it is a far cry from advice and consent. which is 67 senators voting in the affirmative that this is a good deal for america. it is beyond me why democrats simply won't agree to the fact that more than one person should actually be able to evaluate whether this is a good deal or
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not. as it is right now, it is one person, the present of the united states is going to decide for america if this is a good deal or a bad deal. i think the american people should be involved in that decision through their elected representatives. i think that this agreement rises to the level of a treaty and we should be providing that advice and consent and we should be affirmatively proving this thing -- affirmatively approving this thing with 67 votes. i think i have provided clarity and i will support this as long as the deal that has been struck is approved year. senator corker: i appreciate the comments, and if i could wave a wand or pigs began to fly, we could turn this into the type of agreement that has been discussed, but i will say this, the administration, as you know in the previous hearing we had
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has been fighting strongly against this. secretary kerry fighting against this earlier today. i know they have relented because of what they believed to be the outcome here. but i believe this is going to be an important role and especially the compliance pieces that come afterwards. a very significant thing that did not occur under the north korean agreement. senator cardin: i don't think we will convince congress that the president will have a role in what we do. but i just want to assure you that in my conversations with the administration, it has been a very positive conversation over the last 10 days looking for a way that they can resolve
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the concerns that they had in a genuine way i just want to be clear that the administration has been very open about trying to get to where we are today and i just thank you for allowing us to have that open process. senator corker: senator kuntz who is also -- senator coons. senator coons: thank you for the clear eyed and tough way to have negotiated this compromise that is in front of us this afternoon . we have a broad and shared common goal just to prevent a nuclear capable iran. the only question ahead of us is what role this congress and this committee will play in important foreign-policy decisions and in particular in consideration of a deal with iran and the p5+1 partners should there be one.
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i want to thank senator menendez in his role for laying a lot of the groundwork, senator kaine for keeping it on a bipartisan basis. i look forward to supporting it and hopefully to our moving it out today the strong bipartisan vote. but we have a simple question about which path forward this committee will take today. we can, bypassing this package it sure that in the event of a deal with iran, congress has a constructive role to play, an opportunity to approve the deal and say engage with oversight oregon rejected and expose the deal too messy attempts from congress. we can embrace this compromise and help our diplomats and negotiators by presenting a unified position and a reasonable process for congressional review or we can rejected and hurt our demo --
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hurt our diplomats and negotiators recreating in other partisan fiasco and sending mixed messages to the world. it is my hope that we will not reject this agreement. by doing so, we would once again have this committee served as a minor speedbump as this administration and future administrations make foreign-policy largely unrestrained. we can pass this out of committee today and reassert that before the senate relations committee has an important role to play in our nation's foreign-policy decisions. it is my hope that on a bipartisan basis we will do just that and take the reasonable path forward. senator corker: senator flake who has been so constructive from the very beginning. senator flake: in the interest of voting on this for the administration submits a final agreement, i will yield.
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senator corker: any other opening comments? senator udall: i agree with the thrust of what senator flake says and i just want to say very briefly that i will take all my time here. i think this committee and what chairman corker and the ranking member and senator menendez and others have done have been incredibly important. arthur vandenberg used to use the phrase that politics stops at the water's edge, which is the best tradition of the senate foreign relations committee and i think that is what we have seen today with you, chairman corker, and ranking member carbon and senator minute -- raking member cardin, and senator menendez. i think, chairman corker, you have incredible restraint of not getting on that letter that was
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sent to the ayatollah. i think, once again, ipad2 on the back for that because i think once again that is in the tradition of this committee trying -- i pat you on the back. one thing i want to do, this agreement that the ministration is working on has had a lot to do with the national laboratories. we have two of the three national security labs in new mexico. we can't talk now about all the great things those scientists have done in the contribution they have made, but they are really on top of these nuclear enterprise issues and i know the story will come out eventually about how important that is and i ask that the washington post editorial be put into the record at this point. senator corker: i have visited
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both of those labs and certainly they play an incredible role in our national security as the oak ridge lab in tennessee in cooperation with them on these issues. any other comments? senator kaine: thank you mr. chair. i strongly supported the beginning of the negotiations with iran when president obama announced in november of 2013 and really viewed it as the fruition of your efforts. i was not in the senate when the sanctions regime was passed, but for those of you that were, the economic realities of that regime opened up an opportunity and our president did what we hope our president would do we just seek a diplomatic answer to the question. i also have a number of questions about the framework of the deal but i see much that i feel positive about. the rollback of the enriched arabian -- enriched uranium is
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massive and the agreement to participate in the iaea's additional inspections. i am pro-diplomacy and i see positive things in the framework but i am strongly for congressional approval. there has been some suggestion that if you think congress is to approve this you are pro-war or anti-diplomacy. that is offensive. we have a role under article two and i think congressional approval in this instance is necessary, helpful, and what the american public demands and deserves. it is necessary because at the core this is a negotiation about what iran must do to get out from under a sanctions regime. since congress will be involved the only question is, will that involvement be helpful and
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orderly or it will it be under free-for-all rules? much better for us, the administration, the p5+1, the iran that we are asking to make the concessions, to have a process that is orderly and constructive. and finally, it is something the american public really deserves. i have been talking to virginians about this for months and i have recently seen some polling that it seems kind of odd when you look at it but it does make some sense. the american public is deeply concerned about an iranian nuclear weapons program. the american public, just as we are, really hope that we will find a diplomatic answer to that problem. they prefer diplomacy over more just like we do. the american public is deeply skeptical about iran's intentions. the american public overwhelmingly wants congress to
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approve a deal rather than the president just to announce a deal. focus on that one for a minute. why do my constituencies and yours to want to deal to have to be approved by congress? it is not out of disrespect for the president and it is not because they like congress. they are so concerned about the magnitude of this deal that they feel more comfortable if both the executive and the legislature take a look and say this is in the best interest of the nation. this is why people get a second opinion when they hear from the doctor something they don't like. the american people will feel more comfortable if it is the legislature and the executive reviewing it. i want to thank you mr. chair, senator cardin, senator menendez, and all my colleagues. senator murphy: thank you mr. chairman and to the ranking member, as well as to the white house for bringing this
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incredibly productive compromise before us today. i have been of like mind with senator boxer. i have believed that this has been a largely unnecessary endeavor in that the legislation we are debating today does not really reserved for congress any power that we don't already have . we had the ability already before this debate to be able to review this agreement once it is submitted to congress and to be able to take away from the president the power to waive sanctions. after the passage of this bill we still have that power. all along, my concern has simply been whether we are engaging in an effort that is going to make it less likely rather than more likely that we will get a deal to review. i reserve the right to be able to weigh in on that agreement, i just don't want to be taking any steps that lessen the chances that we will be able to conduct that oversight when the time is appropriate.
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i would just reiterate what we have heard today from the administration. i think we have heard very clearly that the changes that have been made over the past 24-48 hours essentially makes this legislation but -- legislation but nine as it relates to the negotiations. with the short timeframe removal of terrorist certification, this legislation and the passage of it is not going to affect the negotiations or the ability for us is a body to see the final agreement. i am happy to support it. my final comment is this one and it builds up a comment from senator kaine. i do worry about a double standard in this congress. i don't worry about it when it comes to senator kaine gussie was right there at the beginning saying that we should oversee the president's proposed military action in the middle east. but we have a constitutional duty to declare war and we have
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been in this committee now for about four months and have not taken any progress to fulfill what is our constitutional obligation to oversee war. i would argue that we don't have a constitutional obligation here and that we don't even have the ability to weigh and until after we see a final agreement. i just don't want to be in a situation where we have a higher standard of oversight on diplomacy then we have for war. i am glad to support this compromise moving forward i think it will provide for a useful framework for the review of this agreement shouldn't be entered into. -- should it be entered into. but i want to make sure that this committee moving forward is just as vigorous in its oversight of warmaking powers as it is on diplomacy. i am hopeful that we will show some consistency in the weeks
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and months to come. senator corker: i think the reason the administration in the last two hours has chosen the path that they are now taking is the number of senators that they realized were going to support this legislation. so anyway, i have 100 80 degree different view of what has happened over the last couple of hours, but i appreciate your comment. senator markey: thank you mr. chairman, and again i can't praise you enough for the way you are conducting this committee. i think this is really in the best tradition of the senate foreign relations committee and the way that people might understand it to be. i thank you senator cardin for your excellent work in helping to create a bridge that has brought us to this moment. but i also want to thank senator
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menendez and senator kaine for their work in ensuring that there will be a protection of constitutional prerogative especially in an era where the sanctions were actually a congressional idea. it originated here, and to a very large extent that is why the iranians have come to the table. it is altogether fitting and appropriate that we are at this moment and there is going to be an assertion of this congressional prerogative to oversee such an important matter. we congratulate all of you. and by the way, every member of the committee that participated in this process. there is no more important subject for the congress to have to deal with. the iaea is perhaps the least well-known, most important institution on the planet.
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that is what we are going to be debating over the next four or five months, the role that the iaea can play in avoiding a dramatic >> in the middle east that we have avoided for 70 years. it will be critical for the senate, the house to be able to to determine the adequacy of the inspections. the funding, made available to ensure that the iaea can be the policeman, the protector against the compromise of civilian nuclear program, that in the wrong hands and turned into a nuclear bomb factory. that is what this is about. that is why the israelis are looking at this so closely. it is why the saudis

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